Thanksgiving Turkey

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Turkey Day!
This recipe is courtesy of Brian Flannagan, of a friend of ours here in Michigan.  It is phenomenal. I will never try a different turkey recipe for our Thanksgiving Dinner again. This is deliciously flavorful and moist. We love it!

Thanksgiving Turkey
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 pkg fresh rosemary (sold for $2 at my grocery store)
  • 1 ½ T. salt
  • 1 ½ -2 tsp pepper
  • ¼ c. olive oil (about)
  1. Thaw turkey according to package directions. Use any brand of turkey.
  2. Create a rub by combining pressed garlic, ripped leaves from rosemary sprigs, salt, pepper, and just enough oil to create a paste that is not too runny. There should be about ½ cup of the rub.
  3. Starting with the turkey breast at the cavity opening, loosen the raw skin away from the meat by pushing your fingers under the raw turkey skin and breaking it away. Continue working the skin away from the meat until both sides of the breast area, as well as the top of the thighs are separated. With a tablespoon or two of the rub in your palm, massage the rub over a section of the turkey (under the skin). Repeat until all the meat has been seasoned with the rub. Use a little of the same rub to season the walls of the turkey cavity as well. (You may still bake stuffing inside the turkey if you plan to.)
  4. Place turkey on the rack in a roaster pan, breast side up, uncovered, on the lowest rack of the oven.  Cook at 425° for 1 hour. (It also works without a rack in your roaster, but the rack keeps it from sticking and from stewing in the juices.)
  5. After one hour, lower the temperature to 325°.  Cover loosely with tinfoil (crimp tinfoil around edges loosely), and roast for another 1 – 1 ½ hours. Check after 1 hour.  The turkey is ‘officially’ cooked when the meat thermometer (pushed into the breast meat at the thickest spot) reaches 170°. Some people think the meat texture, though juicy and flavorful, seems undercooked at 170°, so if you like your turkey cooked a little more, wait another 15 to 30 minutes and check again. Remove from the oven when the internal temperature of the turkey breast is 175°.  Cover with tinfoil for 30 minutes before carving.
  6. Plan on about 2 ½ to 3 ¼ hours to roast the turkey.


  1. Melanie Anne says

    oh wow this looks amazing!! I am excited to dig into a turkey today dinner:) i am glad you had fun with MOm and Dad there yesterday for your Thanksgiving dinner. I am a bit jeal–I miss the family soo much this year! It is weird to be out here by ourselves. I am not used to it yet. Well, thanks for the great recipe! We are going to friends today–so I am not cooking a turkey–but when I do I will try this out! love you!

  2. Mindy says

    Oh my gosh, Erin! That turkey looks fabulous!!! I wish I were there to eat it with you. But I'm glad mom and dad were there at least. Maybe I'll have to make a turkey another time just to try out this recipe!

  3. Brittany says

    Looks great ERin! Mine is in the oven right now… it's taking a bit longer to cook than I planned which is a little stressful since friends should be here any minute! (I think mine may have been slightly frozen stil…?) But it smells delicious. Can't wait to try it. Hope you had fun with Mom and Dad – what a treat to have them for Thanksgiving! Love you!

  4. Erin says

    Brittany, two years ago we used a 16 lb turkey and it took 2 1/2 hours. I can’t remember how big our turkey was last year (pictured) but it was probably somewhere around 16 lbs. Either way, you can use a smaller or larger turkey and just remove or add time to the cooking. Just keep an eye on the meat thermometer.

  5. ann says

    Love your website. I made a version of this turkey by accident last week. My husband said it was really good, and he doesn’t usually compliment me on my cooking. I didn’t put garlic; I might next time. I also made a paste similar to yours with fresh lemon juice, and I also put in some butter under the skin. I love rosemary, and it grows like wildfire in my backyard.
    Thanks for your website.

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